Health Monitor


Children who are tagging along to the grocery store with mom and dad can now help themselves to a piece of fruit.

Stuart Trenchard got the idea from a store in Saskatchewan, but ultimately the initiative is part of the food chain’s efforts to help Canadians “eat better, feel better, do better,” and coincides with the introduction of a new wellness department.

Not only is the store introducing new vitamin lines and better, more natural food choices, but St. Albert Sobeys now has a wellbeing counsellor on hand who can provide advice to customers seeking to make healthy changes to their diet or lifestyle.

Students are back in class after a week off. This marks the University of Alberta’s first fall reading week.

The student union had been lobbying for the implementation of a week-long break in the first semester for the past four years, after a 2011 campus-wide wellness survey revealed that 87.5 per cent of U of A students felt overwhelmed and 65.6 felt very sad that year.

The initiative received push-back from some faculties and programs that require practicums and mandatory instructional minutes but was approved last year. Programs like nursing and engineering don’t have a fall reading week for those reasons.

“Students face a lot of anxieties and pressures around this time of year, especially in the lead up to midterms and their first round of finals,” said student union president Navneet Khinda.

Many post-secondary institutions in Ontario have adopted a fall reading week to help improve student mental health and retention.

The Injury Prevention Centre wants seniors to stay active to increase their strength and balance to help reduce the risk of falls.

Every year, one in three Alberta seniors living in the community and up to 50 per cent of those living in institutions will experience a fall. In 2014, more than 29,000 emergency department visits and 10,000 hospital admissions were due to injuries from falls by seniors.

As part of Seniors Fall Prevention month, the centre is encouraging seniors to count the minutes of physical activity or number of steps they take on the UWALK’s Seniors Keep Active Challenge website.

It is recommended that seniors over 65 participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a week, such as walking or swimming, and in strengthening exercises at least twice a week.


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St. Albert Gazette

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